Jordan Patrick Cuff

Jordan Patrick Cuff
Newcastle University | NCL · School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

PhD

About

35
Publications
5,090
Reads
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178
Citations
Citations since 2017
35 Research Items
178 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023020406080100
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100
Introduction
Molecular ecological entomologist aiming to unravel the mechanisms underpinning trophic interactions through molecular methods.
Additional affiliations
January 2021 - June 2021
Cardiff University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • I established and refined protocols for nanopore sequencing and metaviromics analysis of SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses in wastewater as part of a Sêr Cymru-funded project.
November 2020 - January 2021
Cardiff University
Position
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate
December 2017 - February 2018
National Museum Wales
Position
  • Biodiversity Collections Assistant
Description
  • During my PhD I completed a 3-month internship at the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff in which I curated terrestrial and aquatic mollusc collections.
Education
October 2016 - November 2020
Cardiff University
Field of study
  • Biosciences - Nutrient-specific foraging and the role of spiders as aphid predators
October 2015 - September 2016
Cardiff University
Field of study
  • Biosciences - Invertebrate communities of wood decay in beech (Fagus sylvatica) trunks
October 2011 - July 2014
Cardiff University
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (35)
Article
Full-text available
Spiders are among the dominant invertebrate predators in agricultural systems and are significant regulators of insect pests. The precise dynamics of biocontrol of pests in the field are, however, poorly understood. This study investigates how density-independent prey choice, taxonomy, life stage, sex, and web characteristics affect spider diet and...
Article
Full-text available
The construction of increasingly detailed species-interaction networks is extending the potential applications of network ecology, providing an opportunity to understand complex eco-evolutionary interactions, ecosystem service provision and the impacts of environmental change on ecosystem functioning. Dietary metabarcoding is a rapidly growing tool...
Preprint
Full-text available
Nutrients are a critical driver of species interactions (e.g., plant-herbivore, predator-prey and host-parasite) but are not yet integrated into network ecology analyses. Ecological concepts like nutrient-specific foraging and nutrient-dependent functional responses could provide a mechanistic context for complex ecological interactions. These conc...
Article
Full-text available
Macronutrients, comprising carbohydrates, proteins and lipids, underpin many ecological processes, but their quantification in ecological studies is often inaccurate and laborious, requiring large investments of time and bulk samples, which make individual‐level studies impossible. This study presents MEDI (Macronutrient Extraction and Determinatio...
Article
Full-text available
Dietary metabarcoding has vastly improved our ability to analyse the diets of animals, but it is hampered by a plethora of technical limitations including potentially reduced data output due to the disproportionate amplification of the DNA of the focal predator, here termed ‘the predator problem’. We review the various methods commonly used to over...
Preprint
Full-text available
Eurasian otters are apex predators of freshwater ecosystems and a recovering species across much of their European range; investigating the dietary variation of this predator over time and space therefore provides opportunities to identify changes in freshwater trophic interactions and factors influencing the conservation of otter populations. Here...
Preprint
Full-text available
1. Generalist invertebrate predators are sensitive to weather conditions, but the relationship between their trophic interactions and weather is poorly understood. This study investigates how weather affects the identity and frequency of spider trophic interactions as mediated by prey community structure, web characteristics and density-independent...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated rapid real-time surveillance of epidemiological data to advise governments and the public, but the accuracy of these data depend on myriad auxiliary assumptions, not least accurate reporting of cases by the public. Wastewater monitoring has emerged internationally as an accurate and objective means for...
Preprint
Full-text available
This protocol is designed for extracting DNA from individual invertebrates in 96-well plate format for downstream barcoding or metabarcoding. The reagents and methods proposed offer a cost effective and high-throughput method for molecular identification, dietary analysis, parasitism diagnostics and more from individual invertebrate samples using s...
Article
In their article, Littleford-Colquhoun et al. (2022) advise against using arbitrary relative read abundance (RRA) thresholds (i.e., minimum sequence copy thresholds) for removing low-abundance sequences since they can increase false negative rates in dietary DNA metabarcoding data sets. The main criticisms presented against these widespread methods...
Preprint
Full-text available
Dietary metabarcoding has vastly improved our ability to analyse the diets of animals, but it is hampered by a plethora of technical limitations including potentially reduced data output due to the disproportionate amplification of the DNA of the focal predator, here termed ‘the predator problem’. We review the various methods commonly used to over...
Article
Full-text available
1. Candy-striped spiders (Enoplognatha spp.; Araneae: Theridiidae) are among Britain's commonest theridiid spiders and are potential immigrant biocontrol agents of many pests in arable fields. Though the presence of these spiders in proximity to agriculture is dependent on the availability of suitable leaves for their egg deposition, their preferen...
Preprint
Full-text available
Nutrient-specific foraging is the ecological theory that generalist consumers select food resources based on their nutritional content. While laboratory experiments support this, it has not yet been demonstrated in invertebrate predators in the field. We combined dietary metabarcoding with prey abundance and macronutrient content data to analyze nu...
Method
Full-text available
This protocol is designed for extracting DNA from pan trap-collected invertebrates for biomonitoring and community metabarcoding. The reagents and methods proposed offer a cost effective and high-throughput method for molecular diversity analyses of bulk samples using standard lab equipment.
Article
Full-text available
Introduced species can exert disproportionately negative effects on island ecosystems , but their potential role as food for native consumers is poorly studied. Telfair's skinks are endemic omnivores living on Round Island, Mauritius, a globally significant site of biodiversity conservation. We aimed to determine the dietary diversity and key troph...
Article
Full-text available
Metabarcoding provides a powerful tool for investigating biodiversity and trophic interactions, but the high sensitivity of this methodology makes it vulnerable to errors, resulting in artefacts in the final data. Metabarcoding studies thus often utilise minimum sequence copy thresholds (MSCTs) to remove artefacts that remain in datasets; however,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Nanopore sequencing facilitates the rapid and cost-effective sequencing of long fragment DNA for a massive range of applications. When looking to holistically analyse low-yield DNA samples using nanopore sequencing, the optimal method is likely to involve the PCR Barcoding Kit. This effectively involves blunt end ligation of priming sites onto all...
Article
Full-text available
Caves possess a continuum of ecological zones that differ in their microhabitat conditions, resulting in a gradient of nutrients, climate, and illumination. These conditions engender relatively rapid speciation and diverse assemblages of highly specialised spider fauna. It is unclear, however, how zonation of these caves affects spider assemblage c...
Article
Full-text available
Hollows of veteran trees (i.e., rot holes) provide habitat for many rare and threatened saproxylic invertebrates. Rot holes are highly heterogeneous, particularly in terms of substrate and microclimate conditions. There is, however, a dearth of information regarding the differences in biological communities inhabiting rot holes with different envir...
Preprint
Full-text available
Macronutrients, comprising carbohydrates, proteins and lipids, underpin many ecological processes, but their quantification in ecological studies is often inaccurate and laborious, requiring large investments of time and bulk samples, which make individual‐level studies impossible. This is a protocol for the direct, rapid and relatively low‐cost de...
Method
Full-text available
Macronutrients, comprising carbohydrates, proteins and lipids, underpin many ecological processes, but their quantification in ecological studies is often inaccurate and laborious, requiring large investments of time and bulk samples, which make individual-level studies impossible. This is a protocol for the direct, rapid and relatively low-cost de...
Preprint
Metabarcoding provides a powerful tool for investigating biodiversity and trophic interactions, but the high sensitivity of this methodology makes it vulnerable to errors, resulting in artefacts in the final data. Metabarcoding studies thus often utilise minimum sequence copy thresholds (MSCTs) to remove artefacts that remain in datasets; however,...
Article
Full-text available
Dietary analysis using DNA metabarcoding is a powerful tool that is increasingly being used to further our knowledge of trophic interactions in highly complex food webs but is not without limitations. Omnivores, the most generalist of consumers, pose unique challenges when using such methods. Here, we provide the rationale to understand the problem...
Technical Report
Full-text available
See the ERBAP launch here: https://youtu.be/p0QNjaNUO2Q We currently find ourselves in the midst of both a climate and biodiversity emergency, requiring changes to the way the University operates in order to deliver healthy functioning ecosystems capable of supporting climate and well-being goals for future generations. In compliance with Cardiff...
Article
Full-text available
1. Money spiders (Linyphiidae) are an important component of conservation biological control in cereal crops, but they rely on alternative prey when pests are not abundant, such as between cropping cycles. To optimally benefit from these generalist predators, prey choice dynamics must first be understood. 2. Money spiders and their locally availabl...
Article
Background: The ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has placed an unprecedented strain on global society, healthcare, governments and mass media. Public dissemination of government policies, medical interventions and misinformation has been remarkably rapid and largely unregulated during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in increased mis...
Article
Full-text available
1. The decreasing number of veteran trees in Europe threatens old-growth habitats and the fauna they support. This includes rare taxa, such as the violet click beetle, Limoniscus violaceus (Müller, 1821). 2. Samples of wood mould were taken from all beech trees in Windsor Forest previously confirmed to have contained L. violaceus larvae, and from t...
Article
Full-text available
Elucidating the diets of insect predators is important in basic and applied ecology, such as for improving the effectiveness of conservation biological control measures to promote natural enemies of crop pests. Here, we investigated the aphid diet of two common aphid predators in Central European agroecosystems, the native Coccinella septempunctata...
Article
Specimens of a Neobisium (Pseudoscorpiones: Neobisiidae) were collected from Craig yr Aber woods, Bridgend, Wales, in November 2017. Using morphological characters and DNA barcoding of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene they were identified as N. simile (L. Koch, 1873), a species new to Britain. Molecular comparison with other Neobisium specim...
Preprint
BACKGROUND The ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has placed an unprecedented strain on global society, healthcare, governments and mass media. Public dissemination of government policies, medical interventions and misinformation has been remarkably rapid and largely unregulated during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in increased misi...
Article
Full-text available
As a key predator group, spiders have received a lot of attention by food web ecologists. The difficulty involved in studying their diet has led to the use of new technologies such as metabarcoding of gut contents. The amplification of a broad range of spider prey without amplifying spiders themselves is challenging. Until now, an efficient univers...
Article
Full-text available
Punjab urial (Ovis vignei punjabiensis) is a wild sheep of Pakistan, considered a vulnerable species by IUCN. Major threats to urial populations include habitat loss and poaching, causing severe declines in its population. Nematode infections may also compromise urial survival, but little is known about Punjab urial gastrointestinal nematodes. In t...
Preprint
Full-text available
As a key predator group, spiders have received a lot of attention by food web ecologists in diverse fields such as pest control, pollutant transfers, and cross-ecosystem fluxes. The difficulty involved in studying their diet has led to the use of new technologies such as metabarcoding of gut contents. The amplification of a broad range of spider pr...
Preprint
Full-text available
As a key predator group, spiders have received a lot of attention by food web ecologists in diverse fields such as pest control, pollutant transfers, and cross-ecosystem fluxes. The difficulty involved in studying their diet has led to the use of new technologies such as metabarcoding of gut contents. The amplification of a broad range of spider pr...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
-Compare ecological networks between crops and semi-natural crop margin habitats -Assess ecosystem service provision using molecular ecology and network ecology
Project
My PhD project involved the use of field ecology, DNA metabarcoding, analytical biochemistry, bioinformatics, statistical modelling and ex situ behavioural experiments to investigate spider prey choice, with a focus on nutrient-specific foraging and its implications on the predation of pests by spiders in agricultural systems.
Archived project
Heartwood rot, termed heart-rot, is an important ecological process, as it is the means of habitat provision for many saproxylic organisms. A variety of invertebrate species depend on heart-rot microhabitats; there is, however, a dearth of information on these communities and how the succession of decay affects their composition. Many declining and rare species, for example, the violet click beetle Limoniscus violaceus (Coleoptera: Elateridae), rely on heart-rot microhabitats. The characteristics that make heart-rot a suitable habitat for these invertebrates are not fully understood. It is also known that volatile organic compounds emanating from heart-rot play an important role in the attraction of invertebrate species; changes in these stimuli have potential implications for invertebrate community succession. The aim of this project is to identify the invertebrate communities associated with heart-rot in beech trees (Fagus sylvatica), with a particular focus on the rare violet click beetle (Limoniscus violaceus). The project sets out to determine the taxonomic composition and abundance of the invertebrate assemblages associated with heart-rot, whether these communities vary according to tree location and characteristics, whether community composition varies according to the fungal species present, and the volatile organic compounds associated with the habitat of the violet click beetle (Limoniscus violaceus).